Changing Health Behaviour
Full course description
Changing behaviour of individuals requires a detailed understanding of the determinants and mechanisms that drive behavior. However, although understanding determinants of behaviour provides insight into what to change, it does not tell you anything about how to change these determinants. Being able to change behaviour requires knowledge and understanding of the theoretical methods and practical applications that can be used to modify the most important individual and environmental level determinants.
In this module, a variety of theory-based methods are introduced that can be used to influence the most important behavioral determinants, as identified in a parallel course. Furthermore, they learn how one can translate these methods into practical applications to be used in health promotion interventions, and under which conditions these methods may work. ‘Mini-lectures’ about these methods will be prepared and presented by small groups of students and supervised by teachers. By presenting one’s work and providing and receiving feedback from peers and tutors, students will have a very active role in the learning activities. In addition to the mini-lectures there will also be summary lectures by teachers.
The concurrent training aims at applying the knowledge of theory-based methods to the development of health messages for different media, for different settings and for different target audiences. Students will learn about theory-based principles for developing attractive, comprehensible, persuasive and culturally appropriate health messages through hands on exercises. Assessment in this module consists of a module exam and a writing assignment about the training.
This module introduces you to the methods that can be used to modify the most important individual and environmental level determinants of health behaviour and how these methods can be applied in health promotion interventions.
The aim of this module is that students gain broad knowledge and insight into theoretical methods and practical applications that can be used to modify the behavioural determinants that are derived from the most commonly used theories to explain behaviour. Knowledge about theoretical methods and the related theories, the conditions under which they work and how methods can be translated into practical applications and intervention components is essential as general knowledge, but is also the starting point for the process of intervention development. In addition to knowledge about theoretical methods and applications and insight in how to choose for a method/application, it is also essential to have skills in writing and developing health messages. Therefore, a second aim of this course is that students become skilled in writing health messages that are in line with basic principles of successful health communication, for different target audiences and for different media. In terms of learning skills, the focus in this module will be on teaching fellow-students about selected topics. As a result of this unit, students will be equipped with excellent knowledge and skills that prepare them well for the next modules in the curriculum, but will also prepare them for a career in health promotion research or practice.
Specific literature in the form of an E-reader Abraham, C., & Kools, M. (Eds) (2012). Writing health communication. An evidence based guide. London: Sage Publications. Bartholomew, L.K., Parcel, G.S., Kok, G., Gottlieb, N.H., & Fernandez, M.E. (2011). Planning health promotion programs: An intervention mapping approach. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.